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Creating a collaborative lifelong learning community in Varaždin county


In the framework on the RegALE – Regional capacity for Adult Learning and Education Erasmus+ project, partners and external experts were invited to take part in a peer-learning activity on 20 – 21 April 2022 in Varaždin county (Croatia). The visit aimed at showing how adult learning is organised in Croatia and more specifically in Varaždin. Participants from Vestland (Norway), Baden-Württemberg (Germany) and Belgium took part in the activity.

On 20 April 2022, the group visited the secondary school Srednja strukovna skola Varaždin that proposes curricula for adult learners such as carpentry, designer, fashion technician, beautician, hairdresser, baker and butcher. Participants had the opportunity to discover the school and exchange impressions with the Director, Dražen Košćak. Participants also met with Katica Kalogjera Novak, the Director of  Varaždin’s School of Economics, that offers training courses to become seller, waiter, cook, business secretary, administrative officer, economist but also offers programmes in the field of the hotel industry and tourism.

In the afternoon, the group had the opportunity to learn more about the European Talent Center of Croatia with Robert Kelemen, Assistant Head for development programs and director of European Talent Centre Croatia – Centres of Excellence of the Varazdin County. Mr. Kelemen gave a workshop on how to develop the habit of creativity among students and the way it can create new opportunities for them. He also presented three initiatives in the field of adult learning:

  • The “RITHA Practitioner Croatia”, an international postgraduate education program for adults working with gifted students
  • The Drone Pilot Academy, a specialised program for lifelong learning created in accordance with the needs of the market and tailored for the requirements of the client
  • The European Talent Center of excellence in Croatia

After the presentations, participants discussed and exchanged views on their personal experiences and shared different examples on how adult education is organised in their different countries.

Secondary school Srednja strukovna Varaždin
Varaždin’s School of Economics
The “Arboretum Opeka”

During the second day, participants visited the Mechanical Engineering and Traffic school of Varaždin and discussed about the different programmes offered  in the school, such as drivers for COD 95 and driver’s training for ADR – European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road with the Director, Snježana Klarić.

In the afternoon, the High School “Arboretum Opeka”, offering trainings in the field of agriculture, plant production, and gardening, welcomed the group to present the school facilities, including a tour in the Arboterum Opeka. It is a huge park located outside of the city of Varaždin, with a castle in the middle. The castle is currently being renovated by the school to become a place of teaching for the teachers and students. The Arboterum Opeka is a place where teachers are conducting their classes, outdoors.

During these two days, participants had the opportunity to discover the programmes offered within the vocational schools for adult learners. They discussed and exchange views on the way that adult education works in Norway, Germany or Belgium.